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14. 04. 14


The Story of a Girl Developer in CryptoLand

In one small corner of CryptoLand there’s a coin exchange, named BTC-e, used for buying and selling Bitcoins and other crytocurrencies. BTC-e has a chat section called the Trollbox. Populated with scammers, hawkers and sweet-talkers from all over the world, and moderated by people with names like koolio and bumface, the Trollbox was my first introduction to cryptocurrency.

 You hear trading tips, FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), lies and rumors on the Trollbox. Some people say things to get you to sell your coins while others push you to buy. And when they aren’t talking about trading, they talk about Chuck Norris. And they talk even more about breasts. And girls. And breasts on girls. It’s like Hooters or a strip club packed into a 2”x4” box.
Smart people would run screaming from the Trollbox - especially if they were women. Some people would be scared away from trading crypto entirely.

I’m still here.
People in crypto know me as DCGirl. Anonymity is a very good thing when you’re a female in CryptoLand. The last thing I want is for someone in this scary place to track me down in real life. I get a lot of attention, just because I’m a woman. 99% of the crypto people I see on chats, on forums and on Twitter are men. So everyone wants to talk to me. Everyone wants to give me trading tips. I get PMs all day, every day.
As scary as all that sounds, I’m having a blast.

I’m the widowed mom of 2 boys, and own a small IT company. I’m still recovering from the financial setbacks of losing my husband and starting my company. I have little retirement savings. I pay an extremely large portion of my earnings in taxes. So the potential rewards of buying and selling crypto are what I came here for.
All day, in the real world, I deal with customers and employees. At night, in CryptoLand, I’m just DCGirl.  I trade my coins, I talk in chat boxes (not the Trollbox though, that place still scares me), and for the last few months I’ve been a software developer for an altcoin.
There are a lot of altcoins – coins based on Bitcoin - like LiteCoin and DogeCoin – with various changes to either make them more profitable to mine, more profitable to invest in or more attractive and accessible to the general public. Most altcoins, though, have one purpose – to make the coin developers rich. They are hugely speculative; prices for these coins on exchanges shoot up and crash constantly. I’ve made some profits from trading altcoins, but I’ve lost more.

A few months ago I first heard about an altcoin called UltraCoin. UltraCoin (abbreviated UTC) seemed different to me – the founder appeared to be sincere in his desire to create a coin that would reward miners and investors fairly, over a long time period. And he had many ideas for how to gain mainstream adoption of UTC. So I bought a little and started joining discussions about it.
At first, I was a novelty – the lone girl chatting on the chat box, fending off half of the people there (the other half think I’m a man pretending to be a woman; that happens a lot in CryptoLand). I started hearing about “bounties” – coins paid to people that did development. So I volunteered to create a “price ticker” for the website. I don’t get to program much in my everyday work, so this was fun. I learned how to get data from coin exchanges, and was able to work with the rest of the UTC team to implement my code. And I was paid a few coins for my work. Easier than trading, that’s for sure.

Now I have almost more work than I can handle. Good work, fun work. I talk to the UTC team every day. They put my name on the website. I tweet for Ultracoin (I’m ultracoingirl on Twitter). I wrote a price chart website for them. I’m almost finished writing an android game (called Whack a Troll, in honor of the Trollbox). And I’m currently creating a software engine and website that will take advantage of the incredible transaction speed of UltraCoin. I get paid bounties for everything I do.

And the UTC team has welcomed me completely. This surprises me more than anything else. They involve me in decisions related to how Ultracoin is mined, how coin holders are rewarded, and how we are pursuing mainstream adoption. We have a multi-year plan for UTC that will see the coin used worldwide. We are optimizing the mining efficiency of UTC to ensure its continued profitability. We continue to enhance its transaction speed. We are creating a coin that will benefit traders and merchants alike. And I get to help do all of that.
I’m still anonymous, and I still don’t chat on the BTC-e Trollbox (and never will). No one in my real life knows that I’m doing this work (they’d probably think I was crazy if they found out). But I am all over CryptoLand. I have great buddies, from all over the world, on the UTC team.
And no, I’m not rich yet - far from it. But DCGirl is going to ride the crypto wave as far as she can.

DCGirl for BITCOINWOMANmagazine